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“Better than Olive Garden, I guess”
Review of L'Italia Restaurant And Bar - CLOSED

L'Italia Restaurant And Bar
Price range: $10 - $19
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: We hope your experience will be memorable. Please sit back, relax and allow us to serve you a sampling of innovative, authentic Italian cuisine.
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We spent the night in Harrisonburg recently while on a road trip. Arriving around dinner time on Sunday, we followed the hotel desk clerk's recommendation and tried L'italia.
It's a nicely appointed place and we were greeted warmly and promptly seated in the less than half-filled restaurant.
Gregory came by quickly, introduced himself as our server and advised that the restaurant would be "filling up soon" so he would get us our food as quickly as possible once ordered. We found this odd since we gave no indication that we were in a hurry and, in fact, were looking to have a relaxing, enjoyable meal before returning to the hotel for the night. This "hurry up" theme carried on through the entire meal. And the restaurant never did fill up.
We were never asked if we would like a pre-dinner cocktail while perusing the menu. Only after we had ordered and Gregory started to suggest wine for dinner, did we get the chance to ask for a drink.
We were quite specific, Maker's Mark Manhattans, up, for each of us. The overly enthusiastic and effusive Gregory assured us that was "the only way to have them" and that the bartender specialized in this drink. Unfortunately, when the drinks did arrive...they were on the rocks. (We opted to not even mention the mistake to Mr. Gregory).
Just prior to our cocktails arriving, we were served our dinner salads. Nothing special here, just a mix as you would find from Dole or FreshPak or some other supermarket bagged salad. The dressing came on the side, in little lidded, plastic cups as if we had ordered them "to go." Setting our salads aside for the moment, we tried to finish our drinks without rushing but before our entrees showed up.
We had both chosen very basic, simple dishes: cheese ravioli for my wife, rigatoni with sausage for me. They were average; not horrible, but nothing to crow about. The pasta was cooked just past the al dente stage, but not mushy. The sauce was bright and fresh tasting. Neither dish was piping hot...perhaps because our order was held as we tried to finish our cocktails and then our salads.
Choosing our wines to accompany dinner provided yet another opportunity for Gregory to breathlessly assure us of our good taste.
This may be Harrisonburg's oldest restaurant and it may be the best Italian restaurant the city has to offer. It unfortunately did not live up to the recommendation of the hotel clerk or the pretense and posturing of our server.

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Thank JCTrenton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (158)
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55 - 59 of 158 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2013

We really enjoyed our visit. L'Italia had an extensive menu. The waitress was very friendly. She answered all our questions and helped us decide which meals to order. Our food was excellent! I highly recommend checking them out if you are in the mood for good Italian food while on vacation.

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Thank Beth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I had a delightful meal at L'Italia this evening. Our server Liz was very attentive and friendly. Their little homemade bread loaves were delicious. She even gave us some to take with us. The salads were a great mixture of greens and tasty dressings. My husband's entree, chicken parnigana, was great; my entree, the mai mai was delicious, as were the grilled vegetables. Our desserts were a perfect ending to the meal. The ambience, with the background of music and murals of Italy was special. I wish we lived closer so we could return soon.

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Thank jehorney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

Good food, great atmosphere! Celebrated my friend's birthday on this visit. The owner even threw in a few drinks and had them with us! Came here to celebrate my wedding anniversary and had a wonderful dinner as well. Always good!

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Thank Yunia C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 5, 2013

This is our second time to visit this restaurant and were were again impressed with the food and service. The pasta sauce is rich and tasty and compliments many of their entrees. Prices are reasonable

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Thank Rich S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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